By Sean Crose
Did he or didn’t he?
Did Floyd Mayweather, the most prominent boxer on the planet, as well as its richest athlete, order the savage beating of two innocent men? Everyone seems to have an opinion, but no one except those directly involved with the incident (if there was even an incident) knows what the truth is.
Here’s what there is to go on so far:
Website TMZ reported earlier in the week two men had alleged Mayweather was behind a world class beating they took at the hands of some goons. If the story is to be believed, the men worked on Mayweather’s house before learning the superstar blamed them for some missing jewelry. When they met Floyd, the two men were reportedly greeted not only by Mayweather himself, but by some of toughs, as well. Brutality ensued.
For days nothing followed but speculation. Some reliable outlets went with the story. Some didn’t. The supposed victims were lawyered up and Mayweather’s people weren’t responding to queries. That was pretty much all anyone knew for sure.
Then on Friday, two items hit the news. One was a TMZ follow up, where X-Rays of one of the supposed victims were shown, along with a list of the damages inflicted upon the individual. Then, later on in the day, an article appeared in the Daily News which asserted that the Las Vegas police force was treating the story as a mere rumor.
To make things even more confusing, both pieces, which arguably led readers in different directions, were still up on each outlet’s respective website late Friday night. So what are we to make of all this? Mainly that we still have no idea what, if anything, happened. It’s easy to brush the whole story off as a vicious smear since no one has gone to the cops. This is especially true after reading the Daily News article. Still, victims are known to avoid going to law enforcement for all variety of reasons.
Sometimes it’s out of fear. Sometimes it’s out of things to hide. Sometimes it’s out of mistrust. Sometimes it’s out of cold calculation. Could the supposed victims in this case be avoiding the police for one of those reasons? If that’s the case, however, then why are they getting their story out through TMZ?
The truth is, there’s a lot more questions than answers here. What’s also true is the fact that a lot of money, as well as Mayweather’s freedom, could be at stake. Say, for instance, that the two victims (provided they exist) go to the police and an investigation is subsequently opened. What does that mean for Mayweather’s May 3d fight with Marcos Maidana? What’s it mean for Mayweather’s intensely lucrative deal with Showtime?
More importantly, though, what’s it mean for Floyd’s legacy and for the state of boxing as a whole? If Floyd DID in fact commit the act he’s alleged to have committed, there’s definitely going to be consequences. And there SHOULD be. Such behavior simply cannot be tolerated.
If, on the other hand, this whole thing turns out to be a terrible smear, those behind the smear should have to face consequences of their own. No one deserves to have their reputation tarnished unfairly, not even someone as controversial as Floyd Mayweather. He may be obnoxious. He may have even done time. But he still deserves to be looked at fairly, without the taint of an untrue accusation.
In the end, this whole thing is terrible for the sport we love. Boxing gets a bad enough wrap these days as it is. Whether Floyd is guilty or innocent, the sport once again finds itself with a black eye.